Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3004601 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1961
Filing dateMay 9, 1958
Priority dateMay 9, 1958
Publication numberUS 3004601 A, US 3004601A, US-A-3004601, US3004601 A, US3004601A
InventorsBodine Albert G
Original AssigneeBodine Albert G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for augmenting oil recovery from wells by refrigeration
US 3004601 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 17, 1961 A. G. BODINE 3,004,601

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR AUGMENTING OIL RECOVERY FROM WELLS BY REFRIGERATION Original Filed July 17, 1953 j- 45527 6. 500/445, INVENTOR.

United States This invention relates generally to so-called secondary recovery in 'oil well production practice, and deals with a novel process and apparatus for augmenting oil recoveryilby refrigeration of the producing formation about the We 1 This application is a continuation of my application Serial No. 368,796, filed July 17, 1953, for Method and Apparatus for Augmenting Oil Recovery from Wells by Refrigeration now abandoned.

I have observed that petroleum laden earthen structure becomes vapor locked by released gas under conditions of decreasing pressure or increasing temperature. This tends to seriously reduce the permeability of the structure to oil flow. It is my hypothesis that under such conditions the flow of the hydrocarbon liquid is impeded by the presence of tiny gas bubbles in the inters'tice's of the formation. I have further observed that by cooling the structure under such conditions, the oil flow materially increases, indicating that the gas has gone back into solution in the oil.

Thus gradually diminishing production in certain oil wells may be attributed, at least in part, to gas bubbles released in the interstices of the formation about the well by release of pressure on the oil as the field becomes depleted. This condition is further aggravated, I believe, by gravity drainage conditions in which the oil runs downhill to "warmer conditions. Wells to which the present inventionfis particularly applicable are thus pressure depleted wells and gravity drive wells.

The primaryobject of the invention is to augment recovery from such gas-locked wells by causing the gas to go back into solution in the oil.

The process of the invention comprises, broadly speaking, "extracting suflicient heat from the gas-locked productive formation about the well to reduce its temperature to a level below the absorption or equilibrium temperaure of the mixture of hydrocarbon gases present under the prevailing condition of pressure. It will be understood that the gas mixture present will comprise a number of gas components, each with an individual equilibrium temperature; but that there is an equilibrium temperature for the mixture as a whole, and it is 'to this latter that reference is made.

There has previously been proposed a system for condensing hydrocarbon gases that have entered the well bore by direct cooling thereof within the well bore. However, this system necessarily reduces the temperature of the gas mixture present only down to the equilibrium or condensation temperature thereof, but cannot lower the temperature below that level, such as is necessitated by the practice of the present invention, in order that the surrounding formations be cooled to a sub-equilibrium temperature for the gas mixture locked therein. The present invention is thus distinguished by cooling of the formation to a temperature below the equilibrium condensation temperature for the gas mixture in the forma tion. In particular, it is to be noted that the cooling of the formation is carried down to a level not merely sufficient to condense lighter ends in the mixture, but below the equilibrium condensation temperature for the mixture as a whole, whereby the heavy as well as light ends are condensed. Moreover, because of the laws of atent G 3,004,601 Patented Oct. 17, 1961 heat flow, there is necessarily a temperature gradient, so that if the cooling source is in the well, it will have to be substantially cooler in order to accomplish sufliciently low temperature for an appreciable distance back in the formation.

The process of the invention maybe practiced in various ways and with various forms of apparatus in accordance with the invention, several illustrative examples of which will be given in the following detailed description wherein reference is had to the accompanying drawmg.

In the drawing, numeral 10 designates generally a well casing extending downwardly in bore hole 11, and from the lower end of which is hung, by means of conventional liner hanger 12, the usual perforated liner 13 surrounded by productive formation 14. On the upper end of casing 10 is mounted casing head 15, and screwed into and suspended from this head 15 production tubing 16, understood to carry, at its lower end, a conventional deep well pump 16a, or, in the case of flowing wells, to have an open lower end. In the case of a conventional reciprocating pump, a sucker rod string 17 extends through the tubing 16 and is reciprocated by any conventional mechanism, not shown. The oil produced from the refrigerated formation passes through head 15 to a tubing 18 leading to the conventional fixture above, not shown.

At the ground surface, designated at 20, is a pump or compressor 21 such as used in mechanical refrigeration systems, and this unit has discharge line 22 leading to heat radiator or exchanger generally designated at 23, and here indicated as of the type having heat radiating fins 24. To the outlet side of this heat exchanger 23 is connected line 25, which is coupled at the casinghead, as indicated at 26, to a line 27 extending downwardly within the casing 10 and liner 13 to an expansion valve unit 28 in the lower portion of the liner. The refrigerant line 25 has been shown to include a separator 29 and asecond heat exchanger 30, but it is to be understood that these are optional or employed only in certain variant practices of the invention, and may be disregarded for the time being, the assumption being first made that line 25 connects the heat exchanger 23 directly to the coupling 26 leading to the tubing 27.

The expansion valve unit 28' referred to above, and conventionally illustrated in the drawings, is shown to have a spring pressed valve element 31, and the coolant or refrigerant gases discharged past the valve element 31 are expanded and reduced in pressure, and hence dropped to a low temperature. These low temperature gases then flow from valve unit 28 through refrigeration coils 32 arranged along the length of the liner. The return from the coils 32 may be via tubing 33 extending back up through casing 10 and coupled at the casinghead, as at 34, to line 35 leading through control valve 36 to the intake side of compressor 21. Both the refrigerant supply and return liner may be supported by the production tubing '16 by use of clips such as indicated at 37.

In the system as thus described, it will be seen that I have incorporated a conventional mechanical refrigeration system in a conventional oil well with a separate refrigerant fluid flowing through the cooling coils arranged within the liner, where they act to refrigerate the surrounding well fluids and productive formation about the liner. The refrigeration effect of course extends outwardly into the formation to a variable extent depending upon the power of the refrigeration unit and the thermal conductivity of the oil bearing formation. In general, it is desirable to refrigerate the formation sufficiently outward from the liner to reduce the temperature of that extent of the formation which has become vapor-locked to a point below the absorption or equilibrium temperature of the mixture of hydrocarbon gases present in the formation and available for flow into the well bore. It will of course be understood in this connection that, whereas a large fraction of the gas mixturepresent is locked in the formation, a fraction of the mixture of gases present in the formation normally flows into the well bore. The system is thus designed to extract sutficient heat from the surrounding productive formation to reduce the temperature of its vapor-locked area to a level low enough to cause condensation of the mixture of gases present in the formation, inclusive of the heavy ends. The invention is best practiced by low ering the temperature in the surrounding productive formation in any given well to the point at which material increase and recovery rate is noted, and beyond which further material increase and recovery rate is not detect ible. It will be seen that the heat thus extracted from the formation may be conducted up the return tubing 33, to be dissipated from the system, for example at heat exchanger 23. It may also be dissipated by use of an additional heat exchanger, not shown, used ahead of the pump 21. If the compressor is located in the well the heat may be dissipated into the up-flowing oil production.

It is also possible in accordance with the invention to utilize the hydrocarbon gases of the well as the coolant or refrigerant medium, and for such purpose, the refrigerant return line 33 can be removed, as indicated by the break at 40 just above the refrigerant coils 32. Also, the refrigerant line 35 may be removed, or valve 36 closed. Gases from the upper end of the casing are led via line 41, a shut-off valve 42, and filter 43 to the intake of compressor 21. In the event that the Well gases contain either overly light or overly heavy fractions for use in the refrigeration system, they can be removed by separator 29, of any conventional type, having discharge lines 44 and 45 for the unduly light and/or unduly heavy fractions, respectively. In this case, the refrigeration system is, in general, the same as before the compressed refrigerant gas being expanded and cooled within valve 28, and then passed through coils 32 to refrigerate the surrounding well fluids and productive formation. The gas in this case is discharged from the open upper end of the refrigerating coils 32. It is alsofeasible to discharge the gas at a point higher up in the casing, at the upper end thereof and this may be desirable in any well in which the discharged gas tends tocause de-Waxing or a residue settlement problem. The refrigeration system in this form constantly takes in gas from the upper end of the casing via the line 41 and filter 43 to the compressor. Unused gas from the well is delivered via a line 45 connected into the upper end of the casing, as usual. It is also possible to operate without the coils 32, the refrigerated gases being allowed to bubble upwardly through the well fluid after release directly from the expansion valve 28. In such case, the coils 32 are omitted, and the valve 28 opened to the interior of the liner as by removal of plug 46.

In still another practice of the invention, refrigerated coolant liquid is circulated down into thewell through the line 27, and returned from the cooling coils 32 via the line 33. In this case, the unit 21 acts as a liquid pump. The liquid which it discharges via the line 22 is cooled I at the ground surface, for example, by blowing cooled air from a cooling tower across the fins 24 of the heat exchanger 23. Alternatively. to use of the heat exchanger 23, or in addition thereto, the liquid discharged by the pump 21 can be passed through a heat exchanger 30 of a type including cooling coils connected to a mechanical refrigerator. Thus, the heat exchanger 30 may comprise a vessel through which the liquid in the line 25 is circulated, and suitable cooling coils (not shown) immersed in such liquid and connected via lines 50 and 51 to a mechanical refrigeration system. In this practice of the invention, it is necessary to equip the down-flowing line 27 with a suitable heat insulation jacket such as indicated at 52, Also, the valve element 31 is omitted.

With the last described variant of the process, the cooled liquid comes into heat exchange relationship with the well fluids in flowing through the coils 32, extracting heat therefrom, which in turn extracts heat from the surrounding formation, so as to refrigerate the formation in the way and with the same results as previously described. 7

The cooling effect required to accomplish my invention is much greater than any possible cooling efiect resulting from the practice of various known systems where fluids are conducted through wells for various purposes. For example, in the last above-described form, the insulation a, or the equivalent, is necessary to assure supply of sufficiently low temperature coolant to the bottom of the well. I q The examples of apparatus for practice of the invention as given above will be understood to be for illustrativepurposes only, and it will beunderstood that various changes in design, structure and arrangement may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claim.

I claim:

The secondary recovery process of increasing the recovery of hydrocarbon liquid from a petroleum-bearing formation having a well bore therein, which formation contains amixture of hydrocarbon gases locked in the formation and a hydrocarbon liquid whoseflow to the well bore is impeded by said locked gases, that comprises: providing a coolant means in the well bore adjacent the formation; operating said coolant means in a manner to cool the well bore and the formation adjacent to and for a substantial distance back from the well bore to a temperaturewhich is below the equilibrium temperature which would be required to condense the mixture of hydrocarbon gases normally available in the formation-for flow into the well bore, so that said mixture of hydrocarbon gases in the formation is cooled to avalue at which condensation thereof takes place within the formation, and said condensed gases are absorbed by the hydrocarbon liquid in the formation; and producing from the formation hydrocarbon liquid containing the condensate from said hydrocarbon gas mixture. 7

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1812267 *Jul 28, 1928Jun 30, 1931Standard Oil Dev CoProcess for operating oil and gas wells under reduced pressure
US2033561 *Jul 7, 1934Mar 10, 1936Technicraft Engineering CorpMethod of packing wells
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3443641 *Feb 27, 1967May 13, 1969Mccomb William PMethod and apparatus for recovery of liquids from a well bore
US3500930 *Sep 18, 1968Mar 17, 1970Shell Oil CoPermanently plugging thief zones between temporary frozen plug areas
US3662832 *Apr 30, 1970May 16, 1972Atlantic Richfield CoInsulating a wellbore in permafrost
US3756317 *Feb 9, 1972Sep 4, 1973Hall GMethod for cryogenically freeing drilling pipe
US4593763 *Aug 20, 1984Jun 10, 1986Grayco Specialist Tank, Inc.Carbon dioxide well injection method
US5265677 *Jul 8, 1992Nov 30, 1993Halliburton CompanyRefrigerant-cooled downhole tool and method
US6854929Oct 24, 2002Feb 15, 2005Board Of Regents, The University Of Texas SystemIsolation of soil with a low temperature barrier prior to conductive thermal treatment of the soil
US6877555Apr 24, 2002Apr 12, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation while inhibiting coking
US6880633Apr 24, 2002Apr 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIncludes shutting-in an in situ treatment process in an oil shale formation may include terminating heating from heat sources providing heat to a portion of the formation; hydrocarbon vapor may be produced
US6893615May 4, 2001May 17, 2005Nco2 Company LlcProducing compressed gas for such as subterranean crude oil formation injection; condensation chilling below dew point
US6915850Apr 24, 2002Jul 12, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation having permeable and impermeable sections
US6918442Apr 24, 2002Jul 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground oil shale formations
US6918443Apr 24, 2002Jul 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US6923257Apr 24, 2002Aug 2, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce a condensate
US6929067Apr 24, 2002Aug 16, 2005Shell Oil CompanyHeat sources with conductive material for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US6932155Oct 24, 2002Aug 23, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation via backproducing through a heater well
US6948562Apr 24, 2002Sep 27, 2005Shell Oil CompanyProduction of a blending agent using an in situ thermal process in a relatively permeable formation
US6951247Apr 24, 2002Oct 4, 2005Shell Oil CompanyControl the heat exchanging, pyrolyzing hydrocarbons, enhancing oil recovery
US6964300Apr 24, 2002Nov 15, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with backproduction through a heater wellbore
US6966374Apr 24, 2002Nov 22, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation using gas to increase mobility
US6981548Apr 24, 2002Jan 3, 2006Shell Oil Companyheating and pyrolysis of heavy hydrocarbon sections in subterranean wells to produce light hydrocarbons; reduced viscosity improves movement; fluid removal in liquid and/or vapor phase
US6991032Apr 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyHeat sources positioned within the formation in a selected pattern raise a temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature.
US6991033Apr 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing while controlling pressure in an oil shale formation
US6991036Apr 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processing of a relatively permeable formation
US6991045Oct 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyForming openings in a hydrocarbon containing formation using magnetic tracking
US6997518Apr 24, 2002Feb 14, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and solution mining of an oil shale formation
US7004251Apr 24, 2002Feb 28, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and remediation of an oil shale formation
US7011154Oct 24, 2002Mar 14, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a kerogen and liquid hydrocarbon containing formation
US7013972Apr 24, 2002Mar 21, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a natural distributed combustor
US7032660 *Apr 24, 2002Apr 25, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and inhibiting migration of fluids into or out of an in situ oil shale formation
US7040397Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processing of an oil shale formation to increase permeability of the formation
US7040398Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation in a reducing environment
US7040399Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a controlled heating rate
US7040400Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively impermeable formation using an open wellbore
US7051807Apr 24, 2002May 30, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with quality control
US7051808Oct 24, 2002May 30, 2006Shell Oil CompanySeismic monitoring of in situ conversion in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7051811Apr 24, 2002May 30, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing through an open wellbore in an oil shale formation
US7055600Apr 24, 2002Jun 6, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with controlled production rate
US7063145Oct 24, 2002Jun 20, 2006Shell Oil CompanyMethods and systems for heating a hydrocarbon containing formation in situ with an opening contacting the earth's surface at two locations
US7066254Oct 24, 2002Jun 27, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a tar sands formation
US7066257Oct 24, 2002Jun 27, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from lean and rich zones in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7073578Oct 24, 2003Jul 11, 2006Shell Oil CompanyStaged and/or patterned heating during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7077198 *Oct 24, 2002Jul 18, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using barriers
US7077199Oct 24, 2002Jul 18, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil reservoir formation
US7086465Oct 24, 2002Aug 8, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ production of a blending agent from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7090013Oct 24, 2002Aug 15, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce heated fluids
US7096942Apr 24, 2002Aug 29, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation while controlling pressure
US7100994Oct 24, 2002Sep 5, 2006Shell Oil Companyinjecting a heated fluid into the well bore, producing a second fluid from the formation, conducting an in situ conversion process in the selected section.
US7104319Oct 24, 2002Sep 12, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a heavy oil diatomite formation
US7114566Oct 24, 2002Oct 3, 2006Shell Oil CompanyHeat treatment using natural distributed combustor; oxidation of hydrocarbons to generate heat; pyrolysis
US7121341Oct 24, 2003Oct 17, 2006Shell Oil CompanyConductor-in-conduit temperature limited heaters
US7121342Apr 23, 2004Oct 17, 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US7128153Oct 24, 2002Oct 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyTreatment of a hydrocarbon containing formation after heating
US7156176Oct 24, 2002Jan 2, 2007Shell Oil CompanyInstallation and use of removable heaters in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7165615Oct 24, 2002Jan 23, 2007Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor-in-conduit heat sources with an electrically conductive material in the overburden
US7219734Oct 24, 2003May 22, 2007Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting wellbore deformation during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7225866Jan 31, 2006Jun 5, 2007Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a pattern of heat sources
US7320364Apr 22, 2005Jan 22, 2008Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting reflux in a heated well of an in situ conversion system
US7353872Apr 22, 2005Apr 8, 2008Shell Oil CompanyStart-up of temperature limited heaters using direct current (DC)
US7357180Apr 22, 2005Apr 15, 2008Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting effects of sloughing in wellbores
US7360588Oct 17, 2006Apr 22, 2008Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US7370704Apr 22, 2005May 13, 2008Shell Oil CompanyTriaxial temperature limited heater
US7383877Apr 22, 2005Jun 10, 2008Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters with thermally conductive fluid used to heat subsurface formations
US7424915Apr 22, 2005Sep 16, 2008Shell Oil CompanyVacuum pumping of conductor-in-conduit heaters
US7431076Apr 22, 2005Oct 7, 2008Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters using modulated DC power
US7435037Apr 21, 2006Oct 14, 2008Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barriers with heat interceptor wells for in situ processes
US7445761May 2, 2003Nov 4, 2008Alexander Wade JMethod and system for providing compressed substantially oxygen-free exhaust gas for industrial purposes
US7461691Jan 23, 2007Dec 9, 2008Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7481274Apr 22, 2005Jan 27, 2009Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters with relatively constant current
US7490665Apr 22, 2005Feb 17, 2009Shell Oil CompanyVariable frequency temperature limited heaters
US7500528Apr 21, 2006Mar 10, 2009Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barrier wellbores formed using water flushing
US7510000Apr 22, 2005Mar 31, 2009Shell Oil CompanyReducing viscosity of oil for production from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7516785 *Oct 10, 2007Apr 14, 2009Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyMethod of developing subsurface freeze zone
US7516787 *Oct 10, 2007Apr 14, 2009Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyMethod of developing a subsurface freeze zone using formation fractures
US7527094Apr 21, 2006May 5, 2009Shell Oil CompanyDouble barrier system for an in situ conversion process
US7533719Apr 20, 2007May 19, 2009Shell Oil CompanyWellhead with non-ferromagnetic materials
US7540324Oct 19, 2007Jun 2, 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating hydrocarbon containing formations in a checkerboard pattern staged process
US7546873 *Apr 21, 2006Jun 16, 2009Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barriers for use with in situ processes
US7549470Oct 20, 2006Jun 23, 2009Shell Oil CompanySolution mining and heating by oxidation for treating hydrocarbon containing formations
US7556095Oct 20, 2006Jul 7, 2009Shell Oil CompanySolution mining dawsonite from hydrocarbon containing formations with a chelating agent
US7556096Oct 20, 2006Jul 7, 2009Shell Oil CompanyVarying heating in dawsonite zones in hydrocarbon containing formations
US7559367Oct 20, 2006Jul 14, 2009Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heater with a conduit substantially electrically isolated from the formation
US7559368Oct 20, 2006Jul 14, 2009Shell Oil CompanySolution mining systems and methods for treating hydrocarbon containing formations
US7562706Oct 20, 2006Jul 21, 2009Shell Oil CompanySystems and methods for producing hydrocarbons from tar sands formations
US7562707Oct 19, 2007Jul 21, 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating hydrocarbon containing formations in a line drive staged process
US7575052Apr 21, 2006Aug 18, 2009Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion process utilizing a closed loop heating system
US7575053Apr 21, 2006Aug 18, 2009Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature monitoring system for subsurface barriers
US7581589Oct 20, 2006Sep 1, 2009Shell Oil CompanyMethods of producing alkylated hydrocarbons from an in situ heat treatment process liquid
US7584789Oct 20, 2006Sep 8, 2009Shell Oil CompanyMethods of cracking a crude product to produce additional crude products
US7591310Oct 20, 2006Sep 22, 2009Shell Oil CompanyMethods of hydrotreating a liquid stream to remove clogging compounds
US7597147Apr 20, 2007Oct 6, 2009Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters using phase transformation of ferromagnetic material
US7604052Apr 20, 2007Oct 20, 2009Shell Oil CompanyCompositions produced using an in situ heat treatment process
US7610962Apr 20, 2007Nov 3, 2009Shell Oil CompanyProviding acidic gas to a subterrean formation, such as oil shale, by heating from an electrical heater and injecting through an oil wellbore; one of the acidic acids includes hydrogen sulfide and is introduced at a pressure below the lithostatic pressure of the formation to produce fluids; efficiency
US7631689Apr 20, 2007Dec 15, 2009Shell Oil CompanySulfur barrier for use with in situ processes for treating formations
US7631690Oct 19, 2007Dec 15, 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating hydrocarbon containing formations in a spiral startup staged sequence
US7631691Jan 25, 2008Dec 15, 2009Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyMethods of treating a subterranean formation to convert organic matter into producible hydrocarbons
US7635023Apr 20, 2007Dec 22, 2009Shell Oil CompanyTime sequenced heating of multiple layers in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7635024Oct 19, 2007Dec 22, 2009Shell Oil CompanyHeating tar sands formations to visbreaking temperatures
US7635025Oct 20, 2006Dec 22, 2009Shell Oil CompanyCogeneration systems and processes for treating hydrocarbon containing formations
US7640980Apr 7, 2008Jan 5, 2010Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US7644765Oct 19, 2007Jan 12, 2010Shell Oil CompanyHeating tar sands formations while controlling pressure
US7647971Dec 23, 2008Jan 19, 2010Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyMethod of developing subsurface freeze zone
US7647972Dec 23, 2008Jan 19, 2010Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyFracturing fluid is injected into well to form fracture at depth of subsurface formation, providing fluid communication between first and second depths in well; cooling fluid is circulated under pressure through well into fracture to cause fluid to flow into subsurface formations, lowering temperature
US7669657Oct 10, 2007Mar 2, 2010Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyEnhanced shale oil production by in situ heating using hydraulically fractured producing wells
US7673681Oct 19, 2007Mar 9, 2010Shell Oil CompanyTreating tar sands formations with karsted zones
US7673786Apr 20, 2007Mar 9, 2010Shell Oil CompanyWelding shield for coupling heaters
US7677310Oct 19, 2007Mar 16, 2010Shell Oil CompanyCreating and maintaining a gas cap in tar sands formations
US7677314Oct 19, 2007Mar 16, 2010Shell Oil CompanyMethod of condensing vaporized water in situ to treat tar sands formations
US7681647Oct 19, 2007Mar 23, 2010Shell Oil CompanyMethod of producing drive fluid in situ in tar sands formations
US7683296Apr 20, 2007Mar 23, 2010Shell Oil CompanyAdjusting alloy compositions for selected properties in temperature limited heaters
US7703513Oct 19, 2007Apr 27, 2010Shell Oil CompanyWax barrier for use with in situ processes for treating formations
US7717171Oct 19, 2007May 18, 2010Shell Oil CompanyMoving hydrocarbons through portions of tar sands formations with a fluid
US7730945Oct 19, 2007Jun 8, 2010Shell Oil CompanyUsing geothermal energy to heat a portion of a formation for an in situ heat treatment process
US7730946Oct 19, 2007Jun 8, 2010Shell Oil CompanyTreating tar sands formations with dolomite
US7730947Oct 19, 2007Jun 8, 2010Shell Oil CompanyCreating fluid injectivity in tar sands formations
US7735935Jun 1, 2007Jun 15, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation containing carbonate minerals
US7765794Jan 18, 2006Aug 3, 2010Nco2 Company LlcMethod and system for obtaining exhaust gas for use in augmenting crude oil production
US7785427Apr 20, 2007Aug 31, 2010Shell Oil CompanyChromium, nickel, copper; niobium, iron manganese, nitrogen; nanonitrides; system for heating a subterranean formation;
US7793722Apr 20, 2007Sep 14, 2010Shell Oil CompanyNon-ferromagnetic overburden casing
US7798220Apr 18, 2008Sep 21, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ heat treatment of a tar sands formation after drive process treatment
US7798221May 31, 2007Sep 21, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7831134Apr 21, 2006Nov 9, 2010Shell Oil CompanyGrouped exposed metal heaters
US7832484Apr 18, 2008Nov 16, 2010Shell Oil CompanyMolten salt as a heat transfer fluid for heating a subsurface formation
US7841401Oct 19, 2007Nov 30, 2010Shell Oil CompanyGas injection to inhibit migration during an in situ heat treatment process
US7841408Apr 18, 2008Nov 30, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ heat treatment from multiple layers of a tar sands formation
US7841425Apr 18, 2008Nov 30, 2010Shell Oil CompanyDrilling subsurface wellbores with cutting structures
US7845411Oct 19, 2007Dec 7, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ heat treatment process utilizing a closed loop heating system
US7849922Apr 18, 2008Dec 14, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from residually heated sections in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7860377Apr 21, 2006Dec 28, 2010Shell Oil CompanySubsurface connection methods for subsurface heaters
US7866385Apr 20, 2007Jan 11, 2011Shell Oil CompanyPower systems utilizing the heat of produced formation fluid
US7866386Oct 13, 2008Jan 11, 2011Shell Oil Companyproduction of hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other products from various subsurface formations such as hydrocarbon containing formations through use of oxidizing fluids and heat
US7866388Oct 13, 2008Jan 11, 2011Shell Oil CompanyHigh temperature methods for forming oxidizer fuel
US7912358Apr 20, 2007Mar 22, 2011Shell Oil CompanyAlternate energy source usage for in situ heat treatment processes
US7931086Apr 18, 2008Apr 26, 2011Shell Oil CompanyHeating systems for heating subsurface formations
US7942197Apr 21, 2006May 17, 2011Shell Oil CompanyMethods and systems for producing fluid from an in situ conversion process
US7942203Jan 4, 2010May 17, 2011Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US7950453Apr 18, 2008May 31, 2011Shell Oil CompanyDownhole burner systems and methods for heating subsurface formations
US7964148Oct 24, 2008Jun 21, 2011Nco2 Company LlcSystem for providing compressed substantially oxygen-free exhaust gas
US7986869Apr 21, 2006Jul 26, 2011Shell Oil CompanyVarying properties along lengths of temperature limited heaters
US8011451Oct 13, 2008Sep 6, 2011Shell Oil CompanyRanging methods for developing wellbores in subsurface formations
US8027571Apr 21, 2006Sep 27, 2011Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion process systems utilizing wellbores in at least two regions of a formation
US8042610Apr 18, 2008Oct 25, 2011Shell Oil CompanyParallel heater system for subsurface formations
US8070840Apr 21, 2006Dec 6, 2011Shell Oil CompanyTreatment of gas from an in situ conversion process
US8082995Nov 14, 2008Dec 27, 2011Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyOptimization of untreated oil shale geometry to control subsidence
US8083813Apr 20, 2007Dec 27, 2011Shell Oil CompanyMethods of producing transportation fuel
US8087460Mar 7, 2008Jan 3, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyGranular electrical connections for in situ formation heating
US8104537Dec 15, 2009Jan 31, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyMethod of developing subsurface freeze zone
US8113272Oct 13, 2008Feb 14, 2012Shell Oil CompanyThree-phase heaters with common overburden sections for heating subsurface formations
US8122955Apr 18, 2008Feb 28, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyDownhole burners for in situ conversion of organic-rich rock formations
US8146661Oct 13, 2008Apr 3, 2012Shell Oil CompanyCryogenic treatment of gas
US8146664May 21, 2008Apr 3, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyUtilization of low BTU gas generated during in situ heating of organic-rich rock
US8146669Oct 13, 2008Apr 3, 2012Shell Oil CompanyMulti-step heater deployment in a subsurface formation
US8151877Apr 18, 2008Apr 10, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyDownhole burner wells for in situ conversion of organic-rich rock formations
US8151880Dec 9, 2010Apr 10, 2012Shell Oil CompanyMethods of making transportation fuel
US8151884Oct 10, 2007Apr 10, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyCombined development of oil shale by in situ heating with a deeper hydrocarbon resource
US8151907Apr 10, 2009Apr 10, 2012Shell Oil CompanyDual motor systems and non-rotating sensors for use in developing wellbores in subsurface formations
US8162059Oct 13, 2008Apr 24, 2012Shell Oil CompanyInduction heaters used to heat subsurface formations
US8162405Apr 10, 2009Apr 24, 2012Shell Oil CompanyUsing tunnels for treating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8172335Apr 10, 2009May 8, 2012Shell Oil CompanyElectrical current flow between tunnels for use in heating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8177305Apr 10, 2009May 15, 2012Shell Oil CompanyHeater connections in mines and tunnels for use in treating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8191630Apr 28, 2010Jun 5, 2012Shell Oil CompanyCreating fluid injectivity in tar sands formations
US8192682Apr 26, 2010Jun 5, 2012Shell Oil CompanyHigh strength alloys
US8196658Oct 13, 2008Jun 12, 2012Shell Oil CompanyIrregular spacing of heat sources for treating hydrocarbon containing formations
US8200072Oct 24, 2003Jun 12, 2012Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters for heating subsurface formations or wellbores
US8220539Oct 9, 2009Jul 17, 2012Shell Oil CompanyControlling hydrogen pressure in self-regulating nuclear reactors used to treat a subsurface formation
US8224163Oct 24, 2003Jul 17, 2012Shell Oil CompanyVariable frequency temperature limited heaters
US8224164Oct 24, 2003Jul 17, 2012Shell Oil CompanyInsulated conductor temperature limited heaters
US8224165Apr 21, 2006Jul 17, 2012Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heater utilizing non-ferromagnetic conductor
US8230929Mar 17, 2009Jul 31, 2012Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyMethods of producing hydrocarbons for substantially constant composition gas generation
US8233782Sep 29, 2010Jul 31, 2012Shell Oil CompanyGrouped exposed metal heaters
US8238730Oct 24, 2003Aug 7, 2012Shell Oil CompanyHigh voltage temperature limited heaters
US8240774Oct 13, 2008Aug 14, 2012Shell Oil CompanySolution mining and in situ treatment of nahcolite beds
US8256512Oct 9, 2009Sep 4, 2012Shell Oil CompanyMovable heaters for treating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8261832Oct 9, 2009Sep 11, 2012Shell Oil CompanyHeating subsurface formations with fluids
US8267170Oct 9, 2009Sep 18, 2012Shell Oil CompanyOffset barrier wells in subsurface formations
US8267185Oct 9, 2009Sep 18, 2012Shell Oil CompanyCirculated heated transfer fluid systems used to treat a subsurface formation
US8272455Oct 13, 2008Sep 25, 2012Shell Oil CompanyMethods for forming wellbores in heated formations
US8276661Oct 13, 2008Oct 2, 2012Shell Oil CompanyHeating subsurface formations by oxidizing fuel on a fuel carrier
US8281861Oct 9, 2009Oct 9, 2012Shell Oil CompanyCirculated heated transfer fluid heating of subsurface hydrocarbon formations
US8327681Apr 18, 2008Dec 11, 2012Shell Oil CompanyWellbore manufacturing processes for in situ heat treatment processes
US8327932Apr 9, 2010Dec 11, 2012Shell Oil CompanyRecovering energy from a subsurface formation
US8353347Oct 9, 2009Jan 15, 2013Shell Oil CompanyDeployment of insulated conductors for treating subsurface formations
US8355623Apr 22, 2005Jan 15, 2013Shell Oil CompanyTemperature limited heaters with high power factors
US8381815Apr 18, 2008Feb 26, 2013Shell Oil CompanyProduction from multiple zones of a tar sands formation
US8434555Apr 9, 2010May 7, 2013Shell Oil CompanyIrregular pattern treatment of a subsurface formation
US8448707Apr 9, 2010May 28, 2013Shell Oil CompanyNon-conducting heater casings
US8459359Apr 18, 2008Jun 11, 2013Shell Oil CompanyTreating nahcolite containing formations and saline zones
US8485252Jul 11, 2012Jul 16, 2013Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US8536497Oct 13, 2008Sep 17, 2013Shell Oil CompanyMethods for forming long subsurface heaters
US8540020Apr 21, 2010Sep 24, 2013Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyConverting organic matter from a subterranean formation into producible hydrocarbons by controlling production operations based on availability of one or more production resources
US8555971May 31, 2012Oct 15, 2013Shell Oil CompanyTreating tar sands formations with dolomite
US8562078Nov 25, 2009Oct 22, 2013Shell Oil CompanyHydrocarbon production from mines and tunnels used in treating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8579031May 17, 2011Nov 12, 2013Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US8596355Dec 10, 2010Dec 3, 2013Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyOptimized well spacing for in situ shale oil development
US8606091Oct 20, 2006Dec 10, 2013Shell Oil CompanySubsurface heaters with low sulfidation rates
US8608249Apr 26, 2010Dec 17, 2013Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US8616279Jan 7, 2010Dec 31, 2013Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyWater treatment following shale oil production by in situ heating
US8616280Jun 17, 2011Dec 31, 2013Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyWellbore mechanical integrity for in situ pyrolysis
US8622127Jun 17, 2011Jan 7, 2014Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyOlefin reduction for in situ pyrolysis oil generation
US8622133Mar 7, 2008Jan 7, 2014Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyResistive heater for in situ formation heating
US8627887Dec 8, 2008Jan 14, 2014Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US8631866Apr 8, 2011Jan 21, 2014Shell Oil CompanyLeak detection in circulated fluid systems for heating subsurface formations
US8636323Nov 25, 2009Jan 28, 2014Shell Oil CompanyMines and tunnels for use in treating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8641150Dec 11, 2009Feb 4, 2014Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanyIn situ co-development of oil shale with mineral recovery
US8662175Apr 18, 2008Mar 4, 2014Shell Oil CompanyVarying properties of in situ heat treatment of a tar sands formation based on assessed viscosities
US8701768Apr 8, 2011Apr 22, 2014Shell Oil CompanyMethods for treating hydrocarbon formations
US8701769Apr 8, 2011Apr 22, 2014Shell Oil CompanyMethods for treating hydrocarbon formations based on geology
US8739874Apr 8, 2011Jun 3, 2014Shell Oil CompanyMethods for heating with slots in hydrocarbon formations
US8752904Apr 10, 2009Jun 17, 2014Shell Oil CompanyHeated fluid flow in mines and tunnels used in heating subsurface hydrocarbon containing formations
US8770284Apr 19, 2013Jul 8, 2014Exxonmobil Upstream Research CompanySystems and methods of detecting an intersection between a wellbore and a subterranean structure that includes a marker material
US8789586Jul 12, 2013Jul 29, 2014Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US8791396Apr 18, 2008Jul 29, 2014Shell Oil CompanyFloating insulated conductors for heating subsurface formations
US20130104572 *Apr 19, 2012May 2, 2013Baker Hughes IncorporatedDownhole refrigeration using an expendable refrigerant
CN101553628BOct 10, 2007Jun 5, 2013埃克森美孚上游研究公司Improved method of developing subsurface freeze zone
WO2008048451A2 *Oct 10, 2007Apr 24, 2008Exxonmobil Upstream Res CoImproved method of developing subsurface freeze zone
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/302, 166/57
International ClassificationE21D1/00, E21B36/00, E21D1/12, E21B43/24, E21B43/16
Cooperative ClassificationE21D1/12, E21B36/003, E21B43/24, E21B43/16
European ClassificationE21B43/16, E21B43/24, E21B36/00C, E21D1/12